Digital blackface is on the rise, and Twitter is ready to take action.
“Digital blackface occurs when white supremacist trolls attempt to pass as persyns of color,” explains Vagina Gadde, head of Twitter Trust & Safety.
This is of course an act of extreme racism, far more reminiscent of a Jim Crow era Klan rally than a Democratic frat party. But the motives of these trolls appear to extend beyond the mere hatred of black and brown people so characteristic of Donald Trump and his supporters.
“They do this with the intent of evading the safe speech guidelines we have in place to protect persyns of color from persyn of non-color.”
Digital blackface has proven highly problematic to Mx. Gadde and her team.
“Our moderators are having difficulty telling the difference between real POCs and fake POCs. Token Negros like Kanye West are flagged for their support of Trump, whereas antiracists like Saira Rao and Kimya Dennis are routinely mistaken for parody accounts.”
Meanwhile, accounts with names such as Fri’Chickenisha, Marginalia Wokanda, and Thicc Veiled Wobbler are liable to slip past Mx. Gadde’s censors.
“Naturally, this creates problems. If we were to apply the same rules to all users regardless of their race, gender identity, and political views, progressives would accuse us of racism, transphobia, and being alt-right. Which is why we are instituting a zero-tolerance policy for digital blackface.”
As of January 1st, Twitter will no longer permit the use of black or brown faces in profile pictures. Accounts already utilizing them will be prompted to upload a different image.
“The process is entirely automated,” Mx. Gadde assures us. “The accounts will be restored to full functionality once an alternative image has been uploaded.”
Those who refuse to comply with this latest Trust & Safety initiative will find their accounts permanently suspended.
“Twitter is committed to the collective health of the public conversation. First and foremost, this entails protecting white progressives from things that could potentially offend them.”
Mx. Gadde does not expect Twitter to face much backlash from the POC community.
“Their progressive overlords are intimately acquainted with the hateful, hurtful, and enticing of nature of blackface, so they recognize the need for such preventive measures. With the Democratic, Liberal, and Labour parties on board, the only POCs likely to resist are the white supremacist sort that aren’t welcome on our platform anyway.”